Concepts to know - Psychology Essay Example


 Define Psychology and knowing who did it, what is it, and when was it popular for each of the following concept: a - Concepts to know introduction. Dualism vs. Monism, b. Structuralism vs. Functionalism, c. Psychoanalysis vs. Behaviorism vs. Humanism. Psychology has been defined as the “Philosophy of the Human Mind” in which the changes, activities, or any phenomena occurring within the mind and the soul are being studied (Hamilton, Mansel, and Vietch, p. 91). Dualism pertains to the thought the human physical body works hand in hand with its metaphysical body or commonly refer to as the ‘soul;’ while ‘monism’ refers to the mind as the sole existing human element operated by the body and activities with the environment (Buckworth and Dishman, 2002, p. 4-5).  Its study became highly popular in 17th century where Rene Descartes is a believer of dualism and Thomas Hobbes believed on the latter.  Next is structuralism and functionalism where the former described the human mind as the receiver of actions focusing on its basic elements while the latter is all about the mind’s interaction with other organisms using their senses and intentions (Sternberg, 1999, p. 66).  Structuralism came from Germany in the late 19th century and became famous with the likes of Michel Foucault.


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On other hand, functionalism came from the U.S. as a response to the prevailing structuralism with William James as its vanguard during the early 20th century. The three waves of studying human behavior where  ‘psychoanalysis’ is first founded by Sigmund Freud consisting of theories developed by Freud to explain certain behaviors such as the Oedipus complex and his formation of methods to study the mind and treatments of mental illnesses (Power, 2008, p. 438). While ‘behaviorism’ came out as another school of thought in the stuffy of human behavior which recognized B.F. Skinner as the most popular theorist. Skinner’s theory is often referred to as ‘radical behaviorism’ where every physical action is considered as a behavior (Hillner, 1985, p. 99). The third of human behavioral study is called ‘humanism’ which can be described as the psychology of self-adjustment (Hillner, p. 115). Humanism is an exploration of the human self more in a positive light and psychologist Abraham Maslow is considered to spearhead this school of thought around the 1970s as the third wave of studying human behavior.

What philosophy does a psychologist rely on in his or her approach to treating patients, and how does this differ from the philosophy a medical doctor would rely on? Provide a brief explanation of what a Clinical Psychologist would utilize to help a person quit smoking, then provide a brief explanation of what a Psychiatrist would utilize to help a person quit smoking. Be sure to include your understanding of the core perspective each professional would take in utilizing his or her respective technique.

The difference between a clinical psychologist to a psychiatrist is that the former treat the patients in a social context while the latter are more biological in nature (Hillner, 1987, p. 334). In terms of treating a person to quit smoking, a psychologist approach would be to determine what cases or situations that triggers the person’s urge to smoke. After determining the root behaviors, the psychologist will construct basic coping tactics (Kennedy, 2003, p. 21) for the patient to exercise. A psychiatrist will give medicine prescription to the patient and examine if the urge to smoke has lessen and if there are any health issues.

Why is it important to understand the reasons Psychology encourages critical thinking? What are some of the limitations that we encounter when we do not think critically about psychological science? What are the components of the scientific attitude and how do they help us think critically in psychology? Critical thinking is important in Psychology to be able to get – if not the correct answer – but the most accurate results. With the absence of critical thinking, we will be limited to our intuitions and common sense which does not guarantee concrete judgments about things. Some elements of the Scientific attitude are universalism, communism, organized skepticism, and disinterestedness (Refinetti, 1992). These components assist us to look at things in every angle so that we will be able to scrutinize things carefully.

Provide a definition for a “theory” and provide a definition for a “hypothesis.” How are these two concepts similar and different? How does each fit into using the scientific method in psychology? A theory is a compiled hypotheses which attempts to explain a certain phenomena while a hypothesis is a statement where an explanation regarding two variables is indicated (Schneider, Gruman, and Coutts, 2005, p. 22). Hypothesis and theory are both a form of prediction in attempt to give answers on an event or phenomena, neither guarantees an absolute truth. However, hypothesis is just a component of a theory. Theory is an organized prediction and is detailed in structure to provide the explanation concretely while hypothesis lays the foundation for starting the conduction of a scientific research.

Name and define each measure of central tendency and measure of variability used to summarize and describe large amounts of research data. The three measures of central tendency are the mean, the median, and the mode. The mean is the average score of a finding, the median is below half (50 percent) of the findings, and the mode is the result based on the frequency it appears on a distribution (Wittig, 2001, p. 22). There are two commonly use measures of variability which are the range and the standard deviation. The former  is derived by subtracting lowest score from the highest value while the latter originated from the differences of the scores from the average (Ibid).


Hillner, K. (1985). Psychological Reality. New York: Elsevier Science.

Hillner, K. (1987). Psychology’s Compositional Problem. New York: Elsevier Science.

Power, F. C. (2008). Moral Education: M-Z. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

Sternberg, R.J. (1999). The Nature of Cognition. USA: The MIT Press.

Buckworth, J., and Dishman, R.K. (2002). Exercise Psychology. USA: Human Kinetics.

Hamilton, W., Mansel, H.L., and Vietch, J. (1866). Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic. New York: Sheldon and Company.

Schneider, F.W., Gruman, J.A., and Coutts, L.M. (2005). Applied Social Psychology. USA: Sage.

Refinetti, R. (1992). Philosophy of Physiological Psychology. Circadian. Retrieved April 16, 2009, from

Kennedy, J.A. (2003). Fundamentals of Psychiatric Treatment Planning. USA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Wittig, A.F. (2001). Schaum’s Outline of Theory and Problems of Introduction to Psychology. USA: Mcgraw-Hill.

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